Mood Rings Colors and Meanings: A Great Way of Self-Discovery
mood ring color chart

Mood rings colors meanings are fascinating. They are captivating. Society has been enthralled by them since the birth of mood rings about fifty years ago. 

Wearing a mood ring can make you look mysterious or thoughtful. It can show others that you’re conscientious about your emotions, and your mood ring colors can be a great conversation starter.

Some folks turn to a mood ring to learn about their moods and feelings, and to be able to detect them sooner. Some people like to see the mood they’re in reflected by a small charm on their finger. Perhaps some ladies and gents who are into mood rings find them pretty or humorous.

magazine add for the original sensor crystal mood ring

Do mood ring colors accurately tell us what our moods are? Well, they detect changes in body temperature, which are associated with mood. We will look more closely into this as we get going. 

This guide will explain the various mood ring colors (see our mood ring color chart), while along the way, giving you a great overview of the ins and outs of mood rings.

Where Did Mood Rings Come From?

You may be aware of pet rocks as a fad from the 1970’s and Rubick’s Cubes from the 80’s. Mood Rings have stayed popular a lot longer than either of these, but the craze dates back to the 1970’s.

There isn’t exactly an official inventor of the first mood ring. However, the earliest person known to develop them was our friend was Marvin Wernick. Now, if you’ve ever seen those little deals with a base of quartz and then these thin wires on which are hung seagulls, and the seagulls wave around? That was made by the Marvin Wernick Co.

Martin Wernick flying seagull on quartz block


Well, in 1975, Marvin was with a friend who was a doctor when that friend had to attend to an emergency. Marvin went along. The doctor took the temperature of the patient, a young girl, using tape that changed color when taped to her forehead. Something that changes color due to temperature is called thermotropic. 

Wernick was inspired. He figured he’d bring some of this magic into his jewelry-making. So he took a tiny bowl-shaped vessel of glass and filled it with liquid crystals that were….yes, thermotropic liquid crystals (also called thermochromic liquid crystals ...). From there, all he had to do was attach this glass to a ring, so when it came into contact with a person’s body temp, it would change color. A mood ring! The mood jewelry or color changing jewelry was born!

Wernick did not patent his mood ring invention, and in the same year, Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats, from New York City, bound liquid crystals and quartz stones. They tend to be credited with being the inventors.

Mood rings took off before long, then faded into lesser popularity, then came back quite nicely in the 90’s.

How Do Mood Rings Work?

As for the science behind it, liquid crystals are used because the structure of crystals leads them to reflect certain wavelengths of light. When the surface temperature changes, the molecules (in other words, the structure) of the crystals changes, meaning it reflects different wavelengths of light. So the crystals change colors: from purple to yellow, black to red, silver colored to a pleasing green...

Now, as for the science of mood and body temperature changes, it’s pretty simple. The mental and emotional state a person is in absolutely changes their body temperature.

There’s a good reason why people talk about “warm and fuzzy” feelings (at least the warm part) or something that leaves them cold. There’s also a reason that people refer to someone who is angry as “hot.”

the greatist body temperature chart and emotions


For one thing, emotions actually happen throughout the body. Some people shake when they are angry, which demonstrates this idea. Sometimes people feel sadness in the pit of their stomach, and of course, there are headaches from stress and annoyances.

In 2013, a group of scientists actually mapped out which parts of the body felt the various emotions. They took more than 700 subjects from all cultures, gave them stimuli meant to spark certain feelings, then had them map where they were feeling some activity (often involving a change in temperature). The subjects consistently pointed to certain areas for certain emotions, which allowed the experimenters to draw a good map.

To give some examples, pride made subjects feel activity in their heads and faces, but not in their legs. Anger produced a lot of activity in the arms and in the upper body more than lower. An emotion sparking great activity in the lower body is happiness, which is felt through the entire body. This demonstrates that emotions have physical components in addition to just what we think of when we think of as emotions. Thanks to liquid crystals, mood ring colors reflect these mixed emotions.

Mood Rings Colors And Meanings

But it’s not just activity that people feel, but changes in temperature. Some of the feelings we associate with intensity or with being active or wanting to do things bring an increase in temperature. This is true of intense feelings like love and anger. Anxiety might provide a lesser temperature increase than anger, and according to the study above, mostly in the chest area.

blue vintage oval shape mood ring

(Shannon West -

So now that we know about the body changing temperature, the question might be “how?” In same cases, it is probably mostly to increased blood flow, which happens due to stimulation. Anger, for example, will activate a “fight or flight” impulse in people. This increase in blood flow and chemicals like adrenaline causes a rise in body temp.

To connect this more to the mood ring, when stress causes our internal organs to pump out a lot of adrenaline, blood has to flow to the organs. In other words, it flows away from the skin, which is why a mood ring would detect a drop in temperature. That’s how people get to the shorthand that stress causes a drop in temperature—it’s really just a drop near the surface of the skin.

So, now that we know the ins and outs of what the heck body temp has to do with mood, let’s look at the colors you will find on a mood ring, and what they mean.

Mood Ring Colors and Meanings: Ring Color Chart

ring colors and meanings - mood ring colors chart - purple violet red orange


Purple Violet - Strong emotions such as passion or love; you may be feeling sentimental or romantic

Bright Red - Fear or anger. However, it can also mean excitement or adventurous—so if you know you’re not angry, one of those two may be it.

Orange Red - Worry, tenseness, and sometimes intense anger

Orange- Stress, a racing mind, sometimes with confusion; can sometimes lead to thoughts of risk-taking


ring colors and meanings - mood ring colors chart  - yellow amber blue


Yellow - Among all mood ring colors, yellow is a middle feeling or emotion, involving some uncertainty and mild anxiousness; it can literally involve a person thinking that they’re feeling conflicting emotions. Nervousness can be softened by a calm. In this state you’re not at the orange phase or bright red where you’re angry.

Amber - A great excitement. There can be sentimental or lovey feelings; can include the joy of trying something new.

Blue green - When you see your mood ring this color, take stock of what is going on and try to replicate it as much as possible. This is a very good place to be. Blue-green indicates confidence and coolness as well as optimism.

Blue - The blue color goes just a bit beyond blue-green into the realm of pure relaxation. Sometimes a great chill feeling can sneak up on us, and it’s important for us to enjoy every second of it. That’s where your mood ring can be very useful. Because you are at ease, many of your body’s systems are at rest, and that’s why your temperature isn’t rising, which would cause an orange or red color. That's the way mood rings work.

ring colors and meanings - mood ring color chart - green brown gray black default color


Green - Green is not always a cool green... it indicates some serious mental activity, such as passion and creativity. It could also involve jealousy, which can grow from passion.

Brown - Shows a restless, unsettled mind; it can involve frustration.

Gray - Similar to brown, this dull color indicates muddled thoughts, being unfocused and not clear-headed.

Black - Be careful with this one. Now, if you aren’t wearing your mood ring, it will go black, so in that case, it’s the default, almost like a screensaver.

Where you have issues is if you’re wearing it and it turns black. If your friend said she was in a black mood, you wouldn’t think that was anything great, and that’s how it is with mood rings. The whole gang of bad emotions, such as fear, anxiety, and anger, can make your ring turn black. When you get a black color, you should really try to turn your situation around.

Should I Believe My Mood Ring Colors?

One of the main questions surrounding mood rings is “are they true?” People want to know if they’re really feeling what the ring is saying they are. Are these modern mood rings a reliable indicator to monitor wearer's emotions? Or does a dark blue mood color simply indicates a cooler temperature?

Well, before we get too deep into it, let’s look at some obvious false indicators. It’s all about body temperature and what that says about emotion and mood. Obviously, when you are stirring your pot of ramen while wearing a mood ring, it’s going to go to one of the orange and red-hued colors. Going outside in the cold wearing your mood ring will do the opposite. It’s obviously easy to be aware of these non-emotional changes in color and deal with them.

 close up large ovale shape blue mood ring on finger

(Reimar -

Other than that, all you have to do is look at our above mood ring color chart. Green, for example, can indicate either jealousy or passion. While jealousy can contain passion, it’s easy to have passion without jealousy. That’s fortunate. But, anyway, if you look through the various colors and their meanings, you’ll see multiple possibilities for each. 

Does Mood Jewelry Actually Work?

By definition, then, it’s not about a meaning that has to apply. There’s no way for the mood ring to tell you which of these things you may be feeling.

Instead, you do some of the work of interpretation by looking at the various possibilities and seeing which apply to you. It is scientifically proven that mixed emotions correspond to physical activity within us. And in some way, a mood ring monitors your physical activity.

 3 mood rings bands green and blue color

(Ieva Makauskaite -

One wouldn’t make decisions based on the color of a mood ring. Rather, the piece can be a way of getting a reminder, and of seeing how your body’s physiological processes are in synch with your emotions. That must make a person feel good, feeling the balance between physical and mental. Having a little friend that you can wear is probably what has made mood rings popular over the years.

Some people also turn to these scientific-and-lovely items to let others know their mood. It can be a bit of a joke or it can be more serious. You might be saying, “be careful when you see my mood ring is orange-red. Come back when it’s blue.” 

So Did Jewelry Address the Mood Market?

In fact, some couples and families and groups of friends do have success this way. Now, it may be that sometimes there is a “false positive,” an indication of a bad mood that is misleading, but better safe than sorry, right? If you learn to correlate the mood ring colors with demonstrated moods and behavior of your boyfriend, sister, etc., that may be helpful.

At the end of the day, isn’t there a lot to be said for a ring that can change into many colors? Plus, it’s you that’s making it do so. Why wear a happy ring when you’re sad, or a calm ring when nervous?

In today’s society, we’re not afraid of our emotions. It’s all right to be sad or to have anxiety. It’s certainly OK to be happy. Why not own these emotions with a modern mood ring? What about a mood engagement ring? Own the ring, don’t let it own you. Show your feelings with it, perhaps a bit more than looking to it to show you your emotions.